The Busines Show 2021

The Busines Show 2021

Visit the Focus Ecommerce and Marketing stand No. B1372 at Europe’s largest business show, returning to London’s ExCeL on the 24th & 25th of November! Helping SMEs and startups grow and develop, the 43rd edition of the show will focus on getting Britain back to business by revealing the secrets of business adaptation and innovation. 

The Business Show 2021 | Focus Ecommerce & Marketing

The Business Show

was created from the bottom up to equip, educate, and inspire the world’s small companies and entrepreneurs, brings together and exhibits the expertise and services of hundreds of business professionals and leaders. With a mind-boggling 500 exhibitors, 200 stimulating lectures, and outstanding masterclasses, the event is jam-packed with everything an entrepreneur or small business needs to thrive in 2021. The Business Show is THE place to learn and grow in order to remain ahead of the competition.

With many new zones being introduced to the expo this year, including Working From Home Live, Retrain Expo, and the Franchise Zone. Working From Home Live has all the goods and services you’ll need to work remotely successfully, since working from home is growing more popular than ever.

Learn from the best business brains in a series of outstanding seminars and masterclasses that will teach you the strategies you need to build your company. Oliver Cookson, creator of Myprotein, Samuel Bevan, International Head of Emerging, Business Solutions at Snapchat, and Simon Jacobsen, UK Business Lead at Microsoft, are among the keynote speakers this year.

Visit our Stand B1372

And the best part about this years show is that Focus Ecommerce & Marketing will be there.

Visit our stand to see how we can help your business. Offering our services in Ecommerce, Social Media, Marketing/PR and IRP Commerce.

IRP Commerce Cloud

is the UK’s fastest-growing and only profit-driven platform, having safely processed billions in ecommerce transactions to 170 countries.

 

The IRP Ecommerce Platform includes all of the solutions and features you’ll need to improve your online business. There’s no need for costly third-party plugins or custom software development.

 

  • The IRP Commerce Platform provides everything an online store needs in one location, including shopping, analytics, retargeting, and marketplace access.
  • No other ecommerce platform can match the IRP Commerce Cloud’s feature set and long-term value.
  • There is no other ecommerce platform that provides you as much control over data and sales.

 

Everything is in the IRP.

Book your ticket today

IRP Commerce

IRP Commerce

IRP Commerce is on of the fastest growing ecommerce platforms, seamlessly combining sales channels and digital marketing channels into one central system.

The IRP approach to ecommerce includes the following critical elements: an award-winning, enterprise-grade ecommerce platform and a network of performance-rated digital specialists.

IRP Commerce Cloud | Focus Ecommerce & Marketing

IRP Commerce Cloud

The IRP Commerce Cloud has all of the tools and features you’ll need to revolutionise your business. There are no pricey third-party plugins or software development required.

  • IRP Shopper – Secure, cloud-based and preloaded with the latest conversion and revenue-focused ecommerce features. Providing Multi-lingual, multi-currency, international sales ready to create an unbeatable experience. Featuring a simple administration console and is comprehensive and intuitive, enabling you to control every aspect of ecommerce using one central system.

  • IRP Trading Terminal – Fully connected with the IRP and employs statistics and machine learning to transform your data into revenue-generating, profit-boosting actions in real time. Allowing you to recruit, convert, and retain more consumers with the help of powerful prediction capabilities.

  • IRP Marketing Cloud – No need for expensive third-party email systems. A-fully integrated suite of email remarketing tools helping you stay connected and personal with your customers and grow your sales. Plus, Instant access to over 40 Google shopping feeds that are ready to use and internationally configured.

  • IRP Marketplaces – Instant access to Amazon and eBay, domestic and international. Simple management of stock to control all selling touchpoints.
IRP Commerce | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Enterprise Solution

Which ecommerce platforms you use is usually a matter of personal preference, often down to the fact you’ve used it previously or its been recommended.

However, ecommerce software is one area of computing where the outcomes of different platforms can result in significant variances in sales and profitability. In fact, the ecommerce platform is frequently the deciding element in online success, therefore it’s crucial that a company selects the right one.

IRP Commerce is the correct solution for thos ambitious retailers looking to expand globally.  IRP is an enterprise level ecommerce platform designed to help develop and implement a proven commerce strategy for sustained growth for small to mid-market upwards retailers. A fully-integrated multichannel solution which combine multiple sales channels, award-winning international reach and a comprehensive set of features and tools.

Stable & Scalable Architecture

IRP connects your consumers’ digital and physical touch points, allowing your multiple sales channels to integrate in real time, such as web, stock control, EPOS, phone, and mobile.

It’s a rock-solid infrastructure that’s designed to scale and handle large transaction volumes.

Secure Cloud Technology

IRP software is hosted in the cloud. The IRP itself is based on Microsoft technologies on an SQL Server Database. The IRP platform application is programmed on the .Net framework.

All you need is a broadband connection and a browser. There is no requirement for any software to be installed on your devices to run the IRP.  The IRP is also PCI Level 1 compliant – this means a maximum level of security for your data and credit cards.

Centralised Administration

Featuring one centralised administration area operating all the functions of IRP commerce. Completely secure and Admin rights are governed by role-based permissions.

Comprehensive Features

The IRP is packed full of features that help you to build a world class website.

Multichannel Coverage

Combines sales channels and digital marketing channels with a centralised system. IRP makes life simple for ecommerce managers and more opportunities maximises sales.

The IRP commerce solution encompasses web, mobile, telesales, till, stock control, B2B and digital marketing.

Web

Incorporating a world-class ecommerce website equipped with all the functions, features, and integrations required for creating a successful online business. Including everything from inventory management, order processing, customer relationship management (CRM) and advanced reporting, to a full range of sales & marketing tools.

The IRP supports multiple languages, currencies and tax calculations for true international expansion. The IRP has connections to many of the key players in the ecommerce industry. Integration with Google, AWIN, Trustpilot, Royal Mail, Parcelforce, Realex, PayPal and Worldpay means you join a connected commerce world right from the start. Ecommerce is continually evolving, the IRP platform ensures you’re kept up-do-date with key developments.

Mobile

Incorporating a world-class ecommerce website equipped with all the functions, features, and integrations required for creating a successful online business. Including everything from inventory management, order processing, customer relationship management (CRM) and advanced reporting, to a full range of sales & marketing tools.

The IRP supports multiple languages, currencies and tax calculations for true international expansion. The IRP has connections to many of the key players in the ecommerce industry. Integration with Google, AWIN, Trustpilot, Royal Mail, Parcelforce, Realex, PayPal and Worldpay means you join a connected commerce world right from the start. Ecommerce is continually evolving, the IRP platform ensures you’re kept up-do-date with key developments.

Telesales

IRP’s easy to use Telesales feature enables your call centre or customer services team to process phone orders seamlessly or take over a customer’s basket at the touch of a button. Your IRP fulfilment system receives all order information and customer information immediately. No more unnecessary uploading order and stock information.

Till

The IRP comes with a fully integrated EPOS system that lets you use numerous tills in different locations. Save time and costs with the ability to manage stock and customers, thus impacting on your bottom line. Vary prices by location and your vouchers and loyalty schemes can be unified across all stores and online channels. The software is powerful, but it’s also user-friendly and simple for staff to learn.

Stock Control

A feature-rich stock control system delivers benefits to your business. Including: ensuring you stock the items your customers need, increasing your stock accuracy and helping you deliver goods on time. Bring all your sales channels together into one efficient, cost-effective central stock database.

B2B

The IRP comes fully equipped with a B2B platform that facilitates trade relationships, suitable for all wholesaler, distributor, reseller and manufacturer requirements. This includes multiple customer accounts and pricing on the same platform as well as volume purchasing and pricing options. The IRP offers business software for business intelligence across all levels of the supply chain.

Digital Marketing

As well as all the web, mobile, telesales, EPOS and B2B channels, the IRP comes with a full set of Sales & Marketing features and tools allowing for advanced email marketing and PPC management as well as exposure on search engines, affiliate networks, shopping comparison sites, marketplaces and social networks. – For more details on marketing Click here

IRP Commerce | Focus Ecommerce And Marketing

A System You Can Trust

Making money is the goal of any business, and the IRP will assist you in maximising your sales potential. The IRP has transacted over £1,000,000,000 of revenue for companies online.

The IRP is a reliable platform you can trust, so whether you need a single or multichannel solution, the IRP always keeps you in complete control of your business.

Contact us today

Armed Forces Covenant

Armed Forces Covenant

Here at Focus Ecommerce and Marketing we are proudly supporting The Armed Forces Covenant. This is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

Armed Forces Covenant | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

The Armed Forces Covenant is the nation’s pledge to those who courageously protect our country with honour, courage, and devotion.

It is a vow that we, as a community, recognise and understand that people who serve or have served in the military services, as well as their families, should be treated fairly and respectfully in the communities, economies, and societies in which they put their lives on the line.

 

Armed Forces Covenant

What is being done?

The covenant focusses on helping members of the armed forces community have the same access to government and commercial services and products as any other citizen.

 

This support is provided in a number of areas including:

 

  • education and family well-being
  • having a home
  • starting a new career
  • access to healthcare
  • financial assistance
  • discounted services

 

Further information about support services available to both serving personnel and their families , and veterans and their families  are provided on GOV.UK.

Find information about working, jobs and pensions for members of the armed forces and their families .

For more information about the background of of the Armed Forces Covenant go to the covenant policy .

You can also read the Armed Forces Covenant promise in full here .

Our Pledge

Focus Ecommerce and Marketing commit to honour the Armed Forces Covenant and support the Armed Forces Community. 

 

We recognise the value serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families bring to our business and to our country. We will seek to uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, by:

  • Promoting the Armed Forces: promoting the fact that we are an Armed Forces-friendly organisation, to our staff, customers, suppliers, contractors and wider public.

  • Veterans: supporting the employment of veterans, recognising military skills and qualifications in our recruitment and selection process; working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) to support the employment of Service leavers;

  • Service Spouses & Partners: supporting the employment of Service spouses and partners; partnering with the Forces Families Jobs Forum; and providing flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment.

  • Reserves: supporting our employees who are members of the Reserve Forces; granting additional paid/unpaid leave for annual Reserve Forces training; supporting any mobilisations and deployment; actively encouraging members of staff to become Reservists;

  • Cadet Organisations: supporting our employees who are volunteer leaders in military cadet organisations, granting additional leave to attend annual training camps and courses; actively encouraging members of staff to become volunteer leaders in cadet organisations; supporting local military cadet units; recognising the benefits of employing cadets/ex-cadets within the workforce.

  • National Events: supporting Armed Forces Day, Reserves Day, the Poppy Appeal Day and Remembrance activities;

  • Armed Forces Charities: supporting Armed Forces charities with fundraising and supporting staff who volunteer to assist;

  • Commercial Support: offering a discount to members of the Armed Forces community;

  • Any additional commitments the company wishes to make.
Get involved

Anyone can get involved in the Armed Forces Covenant - find out how you can support the armed forces community.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Ecommerce Business

The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Ecommerce Business

Ecommerce outsourcing and associated tasks is a business practice that has many different definitions and comes in many different forms. However, the one thing that is certain is that it’s the most effective ways for ecommerce businesses to reduce their costs and become more efficient, both of which are essential if they want to stay competitive. This article describes the benefits of outsourcing and what it can do for your business finances, revenue, and workflow. We will also dispel a few of those disadvantages people believe outsourcing brings with it.

Benefits of Outsourcing Your Ecommerce Business

Ecommerce Outsourcing - What is?

Ecommerce outsourcing is the practice of using a third-party company, products and services to create goods and provide services, rather than doing the work in-house. The practice started in the 1970s and grew popular in the 1990s as a way for companies to reduce their internal cost structure and is still a popular option today.

The term “outsourcing” typically refers to tasks usually performed by in-house staff. With an ecommerce business, these tasks can include things like marketing, order management, stock control, writing product descriptions, handling support tickets, website development, technical support, and more – sometimes even handing the complete responsibility of eCommerce to a third party.

 

Many businesses outsource their ecommerce services to cut current costs or save on new resources they want to add to their workflows when they can’t afford or don’t wish to hire dedicated employees.

 

Smaller stores may have the business owner and one other employee handling multiple tasks, but eventually, all businesses need to hire an individual or an entire department to handle each task. This is the point when the owner of the eCommerce business must decide whether they want to outsource or insource the task. They can insource a task has become too overwhelming for the business owner to handle themselves.

 

This can become a major task in itself. On average every job offer attracts approx. 250 applicants, so are you willing to sift through them yourself or do you spend money on recruitment agency?

 

An in-house employee can be more expensive as you will be paying benefits on top of a basic salary. Although its likely believed to be much easier to keep track of an employee, providing you insist on an office-based employee. However, with the introduction of more home working being a major factor in peoples decision making when taking a job, you may have to consider a more flexible approach. Then there will also be a time where their services are not available save for illness and holidays.

 

Its also said a full-time employee, contracted to work 5 days a week on average is physically only working for 3 of those days. So, it may make more sense to outsource roles and tasks in cases where the business output does not justify hiring a full-time employee or you are looking to be more cost effective.

Why Would a Company Choose to Outsource Work?

There are two basic reasons why organisations prefer to outsource ecommerce services.

 

  • Outsourcing saves businesses money.
    As an eCommerce business, you can save money by outsourcing tasks such as marketing, social media, web   development, technical support, administration, and even shipping tasks to a third party.
  • The other reason is time.
    Outsourcing gives you, the business owner, more time to focus on tasks that will help you grow and expand the business as a whole. It can also lead to a better quality of life for you and current employees as it’ll remove a few tasks from everyone’s daily list of responsibilities.

Ecommerce Outsourcing - The Benefits

Now that you know what outsourcing is, let us talk about what it can do for your ecommerce business. Let’s expand on the two key benefits that all Ecommerce businesses want to improve and has been mentioned a few times already—saving time and money—plus also a few additional advantages you’ll experience.

Benefits of Outsourcing Your Ecommerce Business

The Advantages of Outsourcing eCommerce Tasks

1. Save Money

Simply, this has to be one of the the biggest motivators for allocating tasks to companies and contractors outside of an in-house team. Employees require a full salary, benefits, taxes, time to train and equipment. You may also need to set up a new department or even a new office depending on the task that needs to be outsourced.


Without outsourcing, your options are either to continue handling the task yourself, pass off the task to an employee, which will only add to their workload and negatively impact their efficiency, or hire a new employee.
Take for example you decide you should be more active on Social Media, you look around your team, often business owners will settle on the youngest person believing that because they are active on Social media they can manage the company accounts, but are they fully up to date with all the changes the social media platforms are constantly making, are you putting this on top of their current workload. If an additional duty, they might become disillusioned that their workload increased without compensation. It is actually a time-consuming task creating compelling engaging content, engaging in consumers in conversations and tracking competitors. So should you trust this to an inexperienced employee.


With outsourcing, you can allocate certain tasks you and your employees do not have the time or skill for now without needing to cut costs in other parts of your business. You’re hiring a company that has experience in that field.

2. Save Time

As previously said, outsourcing eCommerce tasks saves you and your staff time. When you can outsource duties, you can devote more of your time to consumer research, development, outreach, and other activities that will help you expand your brand’s influence.

 

You’ll see a boost in productivity and morale when your employees are able to save on time and be much more efficient with the tasks they were originally hired to do.
Which will eventually turn into more sales and satisfied customers. Employees won’t be looking to cut corners when up against deadlines.

3. Enjoy a More Flexible Hiring Process

You will find yourself mainly outsourcing tasks you need performed year-round but not often enough to justify hiring new employees. However, there will be times where you will need short-term help as well. This is the case for projects that have expiration dates, seasonal work or perhaps even maternity leave.


For example, if you want to add 500 new products to your store, you will need someone to write optimized product descriptions for each. If this is something you don’t normally do, then adding that many new products to the store at once, you’ll need to ask a few employees to take care of it on top of their daily tasks or take care of them yourself. Plus, you need to consider the SEO benefit of the descriptions. Outsourcing this task, on the other hand, would allow you to hire a freelance copywriter or copywriting agency to handle the task as a one-off project.


As for seasonal work, you may have seasonal product launches or busy times for retailers can be events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas. You will hopefully see increased sales, significantly higher than normal, but this revenue boost brings with it other challenges, more orders to process and more customer queries.

Outsourcing eCommerce tasks may allow you to hire seasonal workers to cover the holiday rush with the money saved. For example, customer service could be managed quite easily on a few hours a week, but outsourcing would allow you to quickly increase the manpower to cover the extra enquiries, with the without the hassle of finding extra people yourself.

4. Stay Competitive

The internet breeds competition, you and your team can work yourself around the clock all you want, but if you only accomplish the bare minimum you will struggle to expand. Outsourcing allows you to complete tasks more efficiently and take on new projects while spending less. This will allow you to keep up with competition without needing to hire new employees.

5. Increase Your Profits

The basic aspect of business is you have to spend money to make money.
This rule never changes no matter how successful your business gets. You will always need to spend money on products, hosting, employees, marketing, and advertising to keep the business running. Take a look at some of the most successful brands such a Coca Cola or McDonalds how often do you see ad advertisement? They have reached a level, but to stay there they know they must keep promoting themselves.


However, referring to that basic principle one more time, spend more to earn more, which essentially means expanding the number of products you sell, the types of products, expanding into new countries and launching new marketing strategies, all of which require, more money.
Outsourcing, as explained above, allows you to expand the business and take on more projects without needing to spend money on recruiting new employees. This will allow you to earn more revenue and a higher return on investment

6. Start Projects Quicker

It takes a considerable time to recruit and onboard new personnel. You will need to post job ads, conduct interviews, assess which people are the best fit for the job and your organisation, and then train them. If all you want to do is start a new project for your marketing strategy or reshoot all your product photographs, this can be a long and difficult process.


Outsourcing simply cuts right through this process and gives you immediate access to qualified candidates and agencies. You can get to work on your new project at a much more efficient rate, all while spending less.
By outsourcing you can reduce the risk and test the idea without worrying, lets be honest not every idea works, another rule of business is test, test, and test again. An outsourced agency provides and cost-effective solution to launching and testing a new plan and the ultimate goal if successful is then to look at an internal employee.

7. Staff Members’ Individual Skills

You might be able to outsource indefinitely without having to convert contract work into full-time work. If you have employees who work directly with outsourced labour, you may be able to train them in the skills you need to outsource.


As said in the previous point, the long-term, goal might be to move the task to an internal team and once at this point you can use the agency to train and develop that employee to take over the tasks without any loss in performance.

8. Less Red Tape

Hiring staff can be fraught with red tape and regulations. This is particularly challenging if your business fluctuates throughout the year and you need to up staff and down staff depending on the demand. There can be a lot of rules and process you need to follow in order to downsize your headcount.

 

However, one of the advantages of ecommerce outsourcing is that you can up size and downsize your staff without any associated red tape, allowing you much more flexibility in how you manage your business and costs.

Ecommerce Outscourcing Advantages

Dispelling the Disadvantages of Outsourcing

1. Believed Lack of Control

It is often believed a big drawback you can experience while outsourcing eCommerce jobs is a lack of control over the tasks you allocate to third parties.


They are not your employees. Instead, you will be operating in a business-to-business manner, so while you can certainly provide descriptions and leave feedback on how you want things done, you’re not able to manage these types of projects in the same way you could if they were performed by in-house employees.


However, here are Focus Ecommerce and Marketing we always operate the manner the customer requests and any other respectable agency of freelancer should be doing the same. Make sure you define the role and tasks to be actioned, set sensible timescales and KPIs.


Communication should not be something that gets in the way, your outsourced ecommerce agency should be willing to take your call at any time. Although just like an employee if you are constantly phoning or email to ask for an update, essentially that task ends up taking long. Agree regular times for updates, schedule calls and zoom meetings in advance.


Build a rapport with your agency, essentially the relationship is a two-way thing, if your setting unrealistic timelines or constantly hassling the relationship will breakdown, treat them like an employee, to which I hope everyone is treating their employees with the utmost respect. Have an open dialogue with your agency, use their experience to help guide your business.

2. Working in Different Time Zones

If you outsource work to individuals and companies from around the world this can be one of the greatest challenges you will face with your eCommerce store. An urgent messages and project updates may not receive the instant response you were looking for and you may have to wait for several hours, depending on the time difference.

Its important to plan and have clear communication of expectations and time scales. Agree time in advancer to communicate in real-time wherever possible.

Fortunately, on the plus side outsourcing to a different countries and time zones does have its upsides This including being able to operate around the clock. When your in-house employees clock out, outsourced workers are clocking in overseas. So perhaps your looking to expand into a new territory, having a localised outsourced agency allows you to respond to consumers in a timely manner and manage Social Media and Marketing that is relevant to that market.

3. Privacy Issues

Privacy should be a major concern for businesses and consumers especially in the light of GDPR and increasing government regulation. When you outsource areas, such as payments, data storage and customer service, you’re inviting third parties to view your customers’ personal information. You must ensure that the company you engage to outsource are trustworthy, GDPR compliant and take security seriously.

Often the issue can be reversed, At Focus Ecommerce and Marketing we often see gaps in a business’s GDPR practices and as an engaged agency would always make recommendations to help make improvements so that a business if compliant. Again, choosing the correct e-commerce outsource partner is key to getting the best service.

Conclusion

Most businesses will at some point engage in some form of outsourcing, without even realising it and certainly, for most small to medium businesses, the benefits of outsourcing eCommerce tasks, outweigh the negatives.

 

Still, you need to examine your business closely and decide whether it is the right move for you. You should also consider all the various tasks you may already be or looking to outsource to gain a sense of its value. Often by combining a number of tasks with one agency can lead to a further reduction in costs. You should also consider your Outsourcing partner carefully and focus on using trusted outsource partners.


Start by breaking down the tasks you and your team are already responsible for to see if there are things you could be outsourcing to a third parties. Tasks you and your employees spend too much time doing should be prime candidates. Tasks you and your employees are either overqualified or underqualified for should be prioritized as well. Do you currently have a vacancy, consider this as an opportunity to re-evaluate the need for an internal employee, now could be the perfect time to explore using a 3rd party agency.


Next, determine which tasks and projects you’d like to implement in your business but don’t have the workforce to tackle.


Now that you understand the tasks you want to outsource, do your research to determine how much outsourcing is going to cost. You may need to actually reach out to contractors and companies to find out this information.
Alternatively, now may be the right time to bring an agency that can assess how your business tasks are being run, giving you a non-biased objective review is often the best thing for a business, it could be that a new piece of software could streamline your process. However, staff don’t like change so that detail is unlikely to come from within your team.

Outsourcing Ecommerce Services with Focus Ecommerce & Marketing

An ecommerce store owner cannot afford to have their time and money stripped away by technical issues, as this post has clearly demonstrated. You can save yourself a few headaches when it comes to the technical aspects of running a store by outsourcing those tasks to us.

We are a trusted outsource partner to eCommerce stores in the UK, EMEA, US and Canada.
We can offer dedicated staff for your ongoing eCommerce support, website development, administration needs, Social Media and Marketing. Our team have over 30 years of experience in areas such as Retail, E-Commerce, Marketing, Government, and the Charity sector.

Check out our full list of Ecommerce services , or Contact Us today with your Outsource Requirements and see how we can save you money and drive your business.

Contact us today

Replatforming – What is it and why is it important

Replatforming – What is it and why is it important

Replatforming is a method that can make any web developer or e-commerce manager nervous, but if approached correctly, it can be extremely beneficial to your business

Digital technology advances at an alarming rate, this poses a significant challenge for companies that operate online and need to stay on top of the latest emerging trend or technique.

As a result, a website’s or mobile app’s shelf life seems to be getting shorter and shorter. This isn’t really a major problem for a brochure-ware site because redesigns can be implemented with minimal effort, although at a cost.

However, handling updates and redesigns for more complex sites and web applications becomes more complicated. E-commerce sites are a great example of this.

This is where the concept of replatforming emerges. This is the procedure for transferring an ecommerce site from one platform to another.

Why replatforming might be necessary:

Failing legacy systems

Many businesses launched bespoke services in the early days of e-commerce, when “off-the-shelf” solutions just didn’t cut it. However, updating these customised systems has become difficult and costly over time.

New features needed

A desire to incorporate new functionality in a more productive manner will be linked to this last point. Older platforms also fail to keep up with the demands of expanding companies, while modern platforms are more “futureproof.”

A fresh start

It can sometimes be best to start over from the beginning. Starting with a blank sheet of paper is advantageous in other ways as well, since company goals and priorities are often different than they were when the original site was built. Even if you’ve decided to stay with you some platform provider can it be beneficial to start again to clear out some of that legacy coding.

Outsourcing website development

Moving from an in-house development environment to a hosted or fully managed platform might be enough of a justification to make the switch, as it reduces long-term costs and complexities.

Integration

E-commerce sites are increasingly being asked to integrate with a variety of complicated and sophisticated partners and third-party systems.

Many platforms now have these features built-in as plugins, eliminating the need for time-consuming development work.

Although replatforming will entail a financial investment, the long-term return on investment would be significant when compared to what was previously in place, not to mention the additional features and functionality that will be available.

Outsourcing website development

Moving from an in-house development environment to a hosted or fully managed platform might be enough of a justification to make the switch, as it reduces long-term costs and complexities.

Replatforming - A better approach?

However, there are a few items to consider before embarking on a replatforming strategy:

Website build cost

Don’t plan to pay the same amount for your new platform today as you did five years ago for making your website. Having said that, you’ll want to make sure your project is completely costed from the start to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on.

Likewise, you may have had your site built very cheaply, using a basic ecommerce platform, now is the time to ask yourself was that actually cost effective? Be wary of anyone offering to build you a site in a week or two and/or for a miniscule price. If it seems to good to be true it probably is.

If you want a hosted solution, keep in mind that there will be recurring costs. If possible, choose a fixed-price option, but do not forget to factor in a contingency!

Website specification

The value of developing a comprehensive specification before speaking with suppliers is linked to the previous point. Make sure you know exactly what you want from your new site and what you need right now (and in the future).

Website functionality

Be very clear about what functionality comes as part of the platform and what has to be added on (at an additional cost). Platforms like Shopify, Magento and WordPress websites with Woocommerce require many 3rd party systems, each with additional cost. Whereas IRP Commerce Cloud has all of the features you’ll need to run a successful online company. There are no hidden fees or costly plugins only a website dedicated to your sales and profits.

Review internal processes

Do just look at finding a platform that matches your internal processes exactly, often it is easier to modify your processes to fit the new platform. Whilst no one likes change, sometimes its beneficial.

This is an opportunity to take a step back and consider how the company operates and whether it could be changed. Better to do this now rather than in the future when the site has already been built!

Service

While many platforms will be ‘off-the-shelf’, it’s very rare that you won’t need support or assistance, even if you plan to do the development work yourself or with another agency.

Check what support you will receive in the early days and on an ongoing basis too. Why not talk to other clients and get references?

Investigate all the options

From low-cost SaaS options such as Shopify, EKM, Bigcommerce to bespoke build and open source, there is an array of different options for ecommerce platforms. Make sure you consider them all and choose the best one for your business.

Strive to find the right ‘partner’

Are you a problem client? Are you being too demanding? Treat your suppliers well and you’ll get a better deal in the long-term with a website development service supplier.

Be wary of anyone that will offer to build you a site in a week or two and/or for a miniscule price. There are good deals to be done, but tread with care.

This is a significant, strategic investment for your business, so it’s worthwhile to investigating fully at this stage in your ecommerce development. It will finally pay off in the long run.

So that’s replatforming!

It’s definitely a strategy that more and more online businesses will have to tackle sooner rather than later, but approaching it in the right way at this stage will ensure you are better prepared for anything that might materialise in the future.

This is a significant, strategic investment for your business, so it’s worthwhile to investigating fully at this stage. It will finally pay off in the long run.

Need more advice contact us today

5 Points for Developing a Website

5 Points for Developing a Website

Whether you’re Looking to build a new website or already have one that’s not performing as expected here are 5 points you need to consider when building your website.

Website Design | Building your website

Clean Website Design

  • Creating a clean, pleasing template is one of the most important things to note during the website creation process.
  • A good design is appealing when building your website. Make it easy to understand, and have simple navigation.
  • Importantly, a clean design allows viewers to concentrate on the importance of your brand and content. Rather than being distracted by distracting visuals and vast quantities of text.
  • Customers also equate website design with the quality of a business or product. As a result, delivering a meaningful user experience that inspires consumers to return necessitates a clean design.
Website Functionality | building your website

Website Functionality

  • There are a few things to think about when it comes to functionality when building your website.
  • Is the website interactive in the literal sense? Are there any problems with loading or broken links? Have you checked the site’s security features are adequate?
  • Aside from these organisational concerns, it’s important to see the website’s functionality from the user’s point of view.
  • Are your site’s interaction forms, surveys, and customer reviews sections functional?
  • A customer may leave your site due to one or more of these functional issues.
Website Navigation

Website Navigation

  • When your website is confusing and difficult to navigate it can result in website customers leaving and never return again.
  • Do an in-depth site review as if you were a new user to improve the quality and attractiveness of your site’s navigation.
  • Take note of which navigation streams make sense and which do not.
  • One way to enhance a visitor’s ability to access your site (while also assisting search engines in crawling it) is to add a site map.
  • View the navigation from an outsider’s view, your visitors may not understand your internal references.
  • Use external parties to review your site and navigation.
Website Usability

Website Usability

  • Easy-to-use websites are more likely to pique consumer curiosity and generate sales.
  • Displaying product and service details in a simple, succinct manner will improve usability.
  • Make sure your website has all the functionality that a customer would like for it to be user-friendly.
  • Do visitors who are reading your blog and want to sign up for an email newsletter have to go looking for the opt-in form?
  • How easy to find your contact information?
  • Is your website’s design conducive to social networking and more engagement with your brand?
  • When it comes to improving the usability of your website, these main elements must be considered.
Website Call to Actions

Website Call to Action

  • Customers are more likely to contact your company if you have calls to action on your website.
  • A nice suggestion like “Contact us today!” shows that your company is interested in building a partnership with its customers.
  • It’s critical that calls to action are sufficient for the level of engagement a visitor has with your site.
  • If they’re new to your business, invite them to sign up for your email newsletter.
  • Make Buy Buttons highly visible with clear wording such as “BUY NOW”
  • Always have a call to action on each page or article, regardless of what you’re asking visitors to do on your site.

Fror more help and support view our page on Website Management to see how we can help you today

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Does email marketing work?

Does email marketing work?

When it comes to communicating about your brand or selling your products, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective methods. With studies showing for every $1 spent, email has an average $42 return on investment (ROI). When shoppers are ready to buy something, they often look for emails from their favorite stores.

Email Marketing | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

How do I get an email list?

To see the highest ROI you need to build and maintain an engaged subscriber list, made up of people who want to receive your messages. Building a clean list can be time consuming work at the outset of your email marketing strategy. There are lots of ways to find people who’ll look forward to getting your emails, but here are a few that perform the best.

To build an email list:

  • Create a signup form on your website. When people come to your website for the first time and like what they see, they’ll want a way to keep up to date about your brand. Create a form for newsletter signups and install a pop-up to collect customer data from your visitors.
  • Use a good old-fashioned signup sheet. Whether it’s at an event that you’re hosting or attending, or in your brick and mortar store. When you’re surrounded by people who are interested in what you do, provide a place for them to sign up and learn more.
  • Drive signups through social media. If you have an engaged social media following, tapping into that resource can be a way to increase your list. So share your signup form on your social channels. Also look to use paid social media ads to drive awareness of your sign up page.
  • Host a contest or offer discounts. Often you’ll need to give people an incentive to sign up for your email list. Contests work well if trying to drive awareness, promote these on your social media or on 3rd party sites. By offering discount code for a first purchase you’ll not only increase your email database but also increase your chance of conversion.
  • Make your emails easy to share. When your create beautiful, compelling email, with a lot of valuable information people will want to share them. Include share buttons and social media post builders that let the word about your emails spread quickly.
  • Build a landing page. Landing pages offer one more way to grow your email list. Using your best imagery and content, landing pages give people a clear call to action to drive email signups.

Can I buy an email list?

NO. You should NEVER buy an email list.

 

Purchased lists are ineffective, If you send emails to a list of people whose contact info you bought, many of the emails will get identified as spam and you’ll also get high unsubscribe rates. Also you will find the data is often just garbage, massively out of date.

 

  • Email platform systems do not allow the upload of such lists and it’s important that all users abide their Terms of Use, which enforce anti-spam laws. 

  • Don’t use third-party lists. This includes purchased or rented mailing lists, and lists scraped from third-party sources, including public websites.

  • Always get permission. Everyone on your list should have opted in to receive emails from you, and their permission should be express and verifiable. If you use an email platform signup form options, you can track the permissions.

  • Include an unsubscribe link. Federal anti-spam laws require you to give people a way to unsubscribe from your list in every campaign you send.
Email Marketing | Focus Ecommerce & Marketing

Email marketing tips to get you started

1. Create an email marketing plan.

To make the planning part easier, here are some best practices you’ll want to consider when devising a strategy for your email marketing.

 

Define your audience

Regardless of what you sell, you should have a clear idea of who your audience is in order to effectively communicate with them. Segment users within your audience so you can send them personalised and targeted emails that help increase engagement, build a trustful relationship and generate greater ROI.

Signup sources

Understanding where your subscribers initially signed up for your list is valuable data. Knowing where customers joined your email database can give you a better idea of how to communicate with them and where you might want to focus your marketing efforts going forward.

 

Segments and groups

The more relevant the campaign, the better the results. So once you’ve identified smaller groups of people within your larger audience, you’ll be able to create groups and segments to send more relevant and personalized emails to your recipients. There will be times when you’ll want to send to your entire list, but by segmenting your users you can significantly increase the click-through rates and e-commerce orders your campaigns generate.

 

Decide what to write

Now that you know who you’re writing to, it’s time to think about your content. What do you want to say to your audience? What is your content marketing strategy? You’ll want to send emails with purpose, that really speak to your subscribers, so always keep in mind what they signed up for.

 

Establish your sending frequency and goals

There’s nothing set in stone about how often you should email your customers, but sending too often subscribers are likely to stop opening your emails or unsubscribe altogether. Some users that run a blog or news website might choose to send daily updates to their subscribers, while other users only send twice a month so subscribers stay excited and interested about their emails. Choose to send your email campaign at a pace that suits you and your customers. Check the unsubscribe rates and the click through rates to adjust the frequency as and when its needed.

 

Email Marketing Calendar | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Make a schedule

A good way to make sure you’re staying on track is to create a content calendar to schedule your campaigns, blog posts, social media posts, and more.

Your email marketing schedule will depend on your industry, the types of content you send (content marketing strategy), and your sending frequency.

For more advice on email marketing why not get in touch to see how we can help you add email marketing to you business  – Contact us today

Pushing Instagram to help your brand shine through

Pushing Instagram to help your brand shine through

Instagram Top Tips – like many other social media channels is an ideal tool for advertising your business, idea, or event. But there are some key points you should consider.

Instagram Top Tips | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

First Steps

The first of our Instagram Top Tips is to convert your Instagram to a business account via the settings option. This opens more options for a business, better targeted reach, advertising, and insights into your Instagram activity.

Via Facebook connect your Business Facebook page to your Business Instagram account if you have a Facebook page. Do it now.

Instagram Top Tips | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Use Professional-Looking Photos

Generic photos will not cut it and will not attract attention. Instagram is a photo-sharing social media platform, so it is important to share visually pleasing content. Take photos, edit them to make them stand out from the crowd. If you cannot do this then consider outsourcing to someone who can.

You can take a new photo through the App or select one from your camera roll. Then there are multiple options to personalize your post. You can add a filter, tag other users, write a caption and add a location. Another option is to also turn off comments on this page with the advanced settings, but you want engagement,. So we suggest do not do this but monitor your posts in case you need to engage.

Facebook Creator Studio | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Schedule your Content

Currently you cannot schedule content on Instagram directly, but you can through several schedule tools and even through Facebook, using tools such as Facebook Creator Studio (You will need to a have Facebook Business page to do this).

If You have a Facebook business page there are also now various Facebook business page tools coming online which allow management of content to be posted to your Business Instagram account.

 

Schedule your content so it hits users’ newsfeeds when they are most active. Once it publishes remember to monitor it for positive and negative comment management, or in case someone asks a question as they expect a quick response. Social media is not a Mon-Fri, 9-5 task.

Other schedule tools we recommend are Hootsuite and Later.com to name a couple.

Instagram Stories | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Stories Feature

Instagram Stories is one of the channel’s most popular features to the user. These photos and videos currently disappear 24 hours after they are posted. Businesses should leverage Instagram Stories to market their products and services, getting their messages to followers that otherwise might not see regular Instagram posts in their feed due to the latest way that Instagram shows content to the user.

You can post recorded videos, still photos, live videos, videos that loop back and forth called Boomerangs. You can also add stickers to spice things up but do not overdo it and stay within your brand. You can also add very useful user tags and hashtags to drive engagement.

The stickers for polls, questions and sliding bars make it easy to interact with your users and get feedback. A good idea is to use the questions feature to hold a weekly Ask Me Anything series, a great way to engage with your audience.

 

Another way to draw attention to your brand is with Stories Highlights, which stay on your profile until you remove them. Use them wisely and select your best moments on Instagram and products if you want to attract attention.

 
Instagram Live| Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Why Not Go Live

In addition to Instagram Stories, users can take and stream live video that disappears, like Facebook Live and Snapchat. You can give customers a live look behind the scenes of interesting aspects of your business, show products or answer live questions through the comments. Like anything live there is more risk running live activity, from internet drop out, poor sound, to much camera movement, so our advice is test and get good at this before you attempt it or outsource and get help from a professional. Once the video ends, it lives in your Instagram Stories for 24 hours.

You can of course upload a video you have taken or shoot one directly through the app to post. If you choose to shoot or upload a video, you can still add filters and change the cover.

 

Interact and Engage

As with any social media platform, it is important to engage and interact with your followers on Instagram.

  • Liking content is a simple way to connect with other users. To like a photo, either double tap the image or tap the heart button under the post.

  • Commenting on posts. just the comments button and the app will take you to the comments page for that photo.

  • Mentioning another user using the @ symbol to tag other users in your Instagram comments or post captions.

  • You can tag users before you post content. Tap Tag People before sharing your photo, and then tap where in the photo you want to add a tag. The app then prompts you to type in the person’s name to search for their account. Once you have tagged other users in your photo and shared the image, other users can tap on the photo to see the people who are tagged.

  • Direct messaging to other users we have found to be a great tool on Instagram and other social media platforms: To access Instagram Direct, go to the homepage and tap the button in the top right corner. Here, you can send private instant messages, photos, and videos to other users. To send a new Direct message or DM as they are called, tap the + button in the top right corner and select Send Photo or Video, or Send Message. Once you have sent the message, you and the recipients can message back and forth. Users who are not already following you will be asked whether they want to allow you to send them photos and videos before they can view your DM.

Instagram Hastags | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Get in on the Trending Content

Hashtags are a great way to help users find content on Instagram. Hashtags can include letters and numbers, only. So do not use other symbols, as they do not work.

 

Relevant hashtags can be a highly effective tool for getting noticed. However, make sure you are using the right hashtags for your brand. Run some tests, searches and see what others are using. Use a tool like Ritetag.com to find the best results and other options.

Look at trending hashtags or popular weekly hashtags such as #WednesayWisdom or #ThrowbackThursday. These will be busy and hard to get noticed but if you need a fille or stuck for content ideas. it is a good way forward.

 

Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags in a post or comment, but we recommend approximately 10 hashtags per post. The fewer hashtags you can use to get quality responses, the better. Using a lot of popular hashtags might earn you a lot of likes from other users, but it probably will not increase your following all that much, and the interactions you get will likely not be from people who are interested in your brand but rather those who just saw and liked your image.

 

Get in amongst the hashtags and branch out and experiment to find which ones work best for you. One good idea is to create a custom hashtag for your brand and use it all the time to drive engagement. Overtime it will start to get noticed and pull our content to other users.

Instagram Hastags | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Using the Paid for Advertising Options on Instagram

Like on other social channels paid advertising is becoming a must to get exposure to your target audience, especially for non-established brands fighting the sheer amount of content on Instagram.

 

There are three formats for advertising:

 
  • Photo ads. These look like regular photo posts, but they have a Sponsored label above the photo. They also have a Learn More button in the bottom right corner under the photo.
  • Video ads. Look like regular video posts, but with a Sponsored label on top.
  • Carousel ads. Feature multiple photos that users can swipe through.

  • All three ad formats appear in users’ home feeds.
Instagram Hastags | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Selling on Instagram

As recently as November 2020, Instagram added the Shop tab, which allows users to discover and purchase products from brands directly through the app. All a user has to do to complete a purchase is name, email address, billing info and shipping addresses. Instagram (or in fact Facebook who own Instagram) will then save that data for future transactions. There are the usual methods to pay such as credit card and PayPal.

Small businesses can also generate Shoppable posts to sell products through Instagram. A business simply creates a product catalogue connected to their account. Then you tag the product. To create a shoppable post you must have a business account and you must sell physical goods that comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies. We do suggest you read the policies to avoid issues further down the line. You can create your catalogue through Facebook, Shopify or BigCommerce currently, but we suspect more options will come online as Instagram develops this area of business.

Instagram Top Tips | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Few More Points to Note

  • Links to websites etc. do not work in Instagram captions or comments. The only place you can share a working link that takes users to a website is in your profile. If you are trying to direct people to a specific webpage, you can change the default link in your bio.

  • Make sure you BIO is strong and has a link to a page on your website you want them to land on. This might not be your landing page but could be a product page or a focused content page.

  • Stay on brand. Make sure your posts relate to your brand. It can be tempting to share photos of food, fashion, and animals because they’re popular on the platform. It can make you look disjointed and confuse your followers and turn them away.

  • Run giveaways and promotions. Post an image advertising your giveaway, sale, or contest, and ask users to repost that image with a specific, custom hashtag to enter. You can then search that hashtag to see who has reposted it and pick a winner. Remember to check the current policies for running a contest or sweepstakes, both on Instagram and your own company views.

  • Respond to other users’ comments quickly! When people comment on your photos, reply to them they want you to engage them and its look to engage. Interacting with customers and followers shows you are paying attention and care about what they say.

  • Embed Instagram posts on your website. Most websites can have an Instagram feed added to every time you post on Instagram in appears on your Website, keeping it fresh and engaging. From the desktop version of Instagram, you can get an embed code to add specific images and videos to your company’s website.

  • Look for and engage potential influencers for your brand to promote your business. It does not have to be necessarily users with huge follower numbers, although that can help, but other users will have different followers to you, and you can reach into their audience circles with your brand using influencers. This extends your reach. If you need help on this get in touch, we can help.

  • Share your posts directly to your story. With this feature, small businesses can interact with their followers while promoting their products or services. If another user posts a photo of your product or service then share if to your story, instant content, and a chance to engage your audience.

  • Use polls and other features in your stories. Instagram offers many interactive features that you can use to build online conversations and relationships. For instance, you can use the interactive questions sticker in Instagram Stories. This feature lets followers submit questions for you to answer. This is a fun and simple way to interact with your followers.

  • If you have long content, then engage IGTV. IGTV is a feature that shows long-form, vertical videos. IGTV is available in a stand-alone app and within Instagram’s app, and each video can be up to an hour long. If you get creative, you can use IGTV to market your business. Only go to this space if you have the content and capacity.

  • Use Reels. Only launched in August 2020. Reels are short-form videos (no longer than 15 seconds) that you can edit with audio, effects, and creative tools. You can use Reels to feature new products, promote your service, quick messages. This area will develop in time so come back as it gains popularity for updates on how to make this work for you.

Instagram Warning | Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

Do not be tempted to go off and buy Instagram followers. What you ask? Yes, you can buy thousands of followers and likes for your content even comments, for just a few pounds but Instagram is now wise to that and will:

The Instagram system will delete them as fast as you buy them.

They will not add value to your account as they will not engage your content.

Users have got wise and see when followers are real and false, so it makes you less credible as a brand.

Eventually Instagram may even shut your account down.

Final Points

  • You should also share posts to your story and be sure that your posts fit in well with your brand.
  • To get the most out of Instagram, be sure to interact with other users, use hashtags thoughtfully, post quality photos and use the Stories feature.
  • Stay true to your brand and aims.
  • Post regular content, we recommend daily.
  • Look at the paid options to get real engagement and potential traffic to your website and sales.
  • If you need help in this area of business, we would be happy to talk through the options of support with you.
 

For more advice view here or contact us 

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Creating a Content Strategy for your Ecommerce Store

Creating a Content Strategy for your Ecommerce Store

Content marketing, clearly described, is the process of producing original, high-quality content targeted at a specific audience, attracting their interests and addressing their points of pain. Creating a content strategy means instead of making a hard sell, by offering useful information that earns goodwill and interaction, it usually promotes a brand, service, or product.

Creating a Content Strategy| Focus Ecommerce and Marketing

The primary objective of this initiative is to convert consumers to buyers, directing them through the process of meeting their needs in the sales funnel, to prove yourself to be a credible source of knowledge, to position yourself as the best placed authority to assist them, and then to convert interest to paid business and a valuable ongoing connection.

The advantages of a well-executed eCommerce content strategy include:

 

  • It drives new traffic to your website.
  • This promotes confidence in your brand.
  • With the all-important conversions, it can help.
  • It can create a separate revenue source.
  • It can provide enduring value with its evergreen material.

 

1: Identify Your Target Consumer

When your creating a content strategy you need to know who your buyer is in order to create e-commerce website content targeted to consumer needs. You can create content targeted at them by creating a character or fictionalized image of a customer or buyers based on real data and

marketing insights, refining it depending on what part of the sales funnel you position it and which part of the purchaser’s journey you are targeting.

For instance, without any sales message, you will provide content customized to their needs at the top of the sales funnel. Further down the funnel, once you’ve won their confidence, you might start providing potential solutions to customer problems and have a more tailored sales pitch to convert them to paying business.

The things you will want to know for your buyer persona include:

  • Demographics: Gender, age, location, or other concrete identifying information.
  • Personality: Whether they are lazy, super productive, sceptical, optimistic, or have other traits, the personality profile will help determine their shopping behaviour.
  • Motivation: Are they learning more about your goods and industry on your e-commerce site? Are they ready to buy, or are they just shopping for windows? Understanding customer motivation allows you to customize content accordingly.
  • Pain points: What do your customers find frustrating? If you understand this, you can provide a solution to their issues.
  • Preferred content channels: Knowing your customers’ preferred sites, social media channels, and apps can tell you how best to reach them.

2: How Does Your Audience Consumes Content

You should find out how your audience wants to consume content to target them the same way for your e-commerce website content by looking at your internal data or researching market trends.

Some questions you’ll want to answer include:

  • What’s the most popular social media channel for my target audience?
  • Is there a specific type of content they prefer, Images, video, long form content?
  • Does my target audience prefer to make purchases via a mobile or desktop?
  • What length of time is my target audience willing to spend reviewing content?
  • Use your Google Analytics to track how people are coming to your site

3: Research and Create Your Content

For creating a content strategy you need to do some research at the front end to build an efficient content strategy for e-commerce. For instance,

  • Brainstorm: Work with a small group of people invested in the process, with strong contributions.
  • Competitive SEO Evaluation, Looking at how rivals’ domain names work in search rankings and keyword gaps, to find out what choices are available to create content against fresh search words.
  • Understanding the content being produced by other brands: Use a tool like Google Alerts to keep notified about brand mentions online, keeps you up to date of trending content.
  • Think outside the box if an idea seems stale because it been done many times, try flipping it on its head to come up with a new perspective.

4: Publish Content Based on your Buyer’s Journey

The sales or marketing funnel is divided into three parts a top, middle, and bottom that corresponds to various parts of the purchaser’s path.

The top of the funnel is the process of customer exploration or understanding, where you prove that you know their points of pain. Your content is easily found and consumed at this stage.

The content offers solutions to issues without any particular sale of your product or service, whether by blogging, social media marketing, search engine marketing, or any other medium.

 

The middle section of the Sales & Marketing funnel is the step of evaluation, where you engage with your prospective clients more profoundly, building confidence. You have proven that you know their points of discomfort, and now you can start pointing to solutions that will assist them. Where you tried to educate customers before, you are now leading them to the right responses.

Here, the items you offer might include comparison guides, case studies, and even free samples. Consumers usually do extensive research on the subject at this point, including whether your approach is the right match for them.

 

The bottom of the sales funnel is the purchase stage, where people put their money where their interest is. Here is where you prove that your outstanding value is just too much to be passed by. At this purchase stage, you might use live chat, a chatbot, or emails to customers at the point of buying or retargeting/remarketing to keep your message in front of someone at the tipping point.

 

The Decision stage, where people put their money where their interest is. Here is where you prove that your offer is just too good to miss out on. At this decision stage, at the point of purchase or retargeting/remarketing, you might use live chat, a chatbot, or emails to customers to hold your message in front of someone at the tipping point.

 

5: Measure the Results

Since creating a content ctrategy on ecommerce websites is typically an ongoing operation, and not a one-off thing, you need to look at the results from past attempts to enhance those that are going forward.

 

Good metrics will inform you what sort of investment return (ROI) you have accomplished. Progress may be evaluated by such factors as:

Organic traffic, Leads, Conversion rate, Time on page, Social shares, Engagement, ROI, Backlinks

 

Bear in mind that the specific metrics you want to measure will vary depending on the content type. Some forms of content and the metrics on which you would want to base performance include:

  • Blog posts/articles: Key performance indicators (KPIs) range from website traffic and unique visitors to page views per visit and geographic trends.

  • Email: Indicators include open rate, conversion rate, and click-through rate.

  • Social media: Followers/fans, Likes, and post reach are among the KPIs.

  • Videos: These include unique viewers, shares, and average view duration.

  • Podcasts: Downloads, subscribers, and shares are included here.

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns: The many KPIs range from cost per click and click-through rates to cost per sale and impressions.

At Focus Ecommerce & Marketing we have the tools to help you measure the performance of your content activity. We can analyse various pieces of content and tailor that content to meet your specific needs.

 

6: Ask for Customer Feedback

Listening to what your clients have to say is a huge part of enhancing the content you deliver and making sales. Knowing what your customer feels about your sales process is vital for potential progress, whether you send a follow-up note, review live chat recordings, perform customer interviews, evaluate documented sales calls, track social media networks, or employ other means.

Some ways customer feedback can help your ecommerce content strategy include:

 

  • Ensure you have an effective customer support service: Customer feedback is one way to help gauge whether you have a sustainable customer support system, which ultimately can help keep sales coming in.

  • Qualitative feedback about content: Although we have suggested ways to get data, qualitative feedback is also very valuable. Through customer surveys, you can figure out whether your content is helpful to your customers. The more helpful your content, the more likely you will find more people who want to use your product or service.

  • Potential to use feedback as promotional content: Arguably, the biggest benefit to customer feedback is the possibility of using it to persuade new customers. Testimonials are a great way to add value to your brand and hopefully increase your bottom line.

 

What Are Some Types of Effective Ecommerce Content Marketing?

When developing an ecommerce content strategy, there a variety of content types at your disposal. Focus Ecommerce & Marketing can assist you with any of the following:

 
  • Blogging: Blog posts are fundamental to the majority of content marketing strategies, building customer relationships, delivering leads, and lending themselves to search engine optimization (SEO) practices.

  • Original photography: In this digital age people are unable to touch what your goods, using photography helps to make up for this fact. Create a set of images for each product, tagging them correctly will help search engines understand what you are offering. Create lifestyle shots so people can imagine wearing or using the item.

  • Video content: Videos create an immersive experience and are proven to drive up the number and size of sales. Social media channels recommend the use of video as a way of increasing engagement.

  • Product guides: These can attract more traffic to your ecommerce website as people look for more information about products and services.

  • Customer stories: Customer testimonials, reviews, case studies and user generated content.

  • Email marketing: Even just confirming orders, notifying buyers about shipping and package delivery, and doing a follow-up gives you multiple chances to communicate with customers and build relationships.

 

The most effective ecommerce strategy combines all of these elements. All brands, large and small need to invest in content marketing because it is crucial to attracting new business and staying competitive.

We can provide a comprehensive, all-in-one solution to boost your online selling presence, whether it’s to get more traffic with organic and paid searches or create unique content that meets marketing and sales goals.

 

The End For Magento 1 Support

The End For Magento 1 Support

On the 30th June 2020, Adobe has finally ended its support of Magento 1. (hopefully this should not be a surprise)

When Adobe made its acquisition of Magento, the company had already transitioned over to Magento 2 and has only been fixing bugs, security issues and adding very little in the way on any new features.

This has kept many Magento 1 stores from being upgraded, according to a recent report there are around 100,000 websites still running M1.

So what does the future hold for those stores, well with the ending of support the likelihood is:

  • Your store will no longer be PCI DSS complient
  • M1 sites will be more exposed to security risks and increased likelihood of an account data compromise due to the lack of security upgrades.
  • Hackers are going to try and find the flaw in your version1 platform.
  • Plugins and extensions may stop working or become unavailable.
  • Developers will stop developing on V1 and move all resources over to M2

 

PCI DSS complianceis essential for online retailers who are not offloading the secure order and payment processing to another platform, independent of the merchant’s website. But even merchants who are not storing sensitive customer data such as payment details and card information, could be at risk to cyber attacks which could be costly to the business.

So why have so many merchants not made the change to Magento2, it might be the view don’t fix whats not broken, the time and effort to upgrade, the cost and lets not ignore this factor, M2 is not exactly cheap, you can’t just switch your current M1 version to M2.

So what should you do if your running an old version of Magento, well its not just going to stop operating on the 1st July 2020, but you need to make a decision, your not tied to Magento (unless your on Commerce and still have a running contract) there are other options you could look at; Shopify, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce to name a few.

Now is the time to evaluate, is there a more cost effect platform that suits your needs, could your site benefit from a redesign bring it upto date, what functions do you want etc.

 

And if you need help with evaluting your requirments then please just give us a call